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Lest We Forget: The Nightmare of Yolanda

Being the fifth super typhoon of the 2013 Pacific typhoon season, today marks the 8th Year Anniversary of the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, internationally known as Typhoon Haiyan. With strong winds reaching more than 300 kilometers per hour, Haiyan was classified as a category 4 hurricane, later elevated to a category 5. The typhoon made landfall in the country on 4:40 AM of November 8, on the island of Samar.

Courtesy of Movement Generation

For the Filipino, Yolanda is definitely an experience and a fear to remember. the super typhoon wreaked havoc and caused high damage in many parts of Samar, Tacloban, and Leyte. Many structures and establishments were not just damaged, but flattened to the ground.

The surge left thousands of trees and street posts toppled down, with hundreds of cars piled on one another. Sebastian Stampa, head of a disaster assessment team from the UN, described the "destruction on massive scale", as there were "cars thrown like tumbleweeds and the streets are strewn with debris".

Courtesy of Focolare Movement

453 local and international flights were canceled, as communications in majority of the Visayas region broke down. Power outages were widespread, and major roads were blocked impassable. Yolanda ranks first in the costliest typhoons to ever strike the Philippines to date, with damage totaling to an estimate of Php 95.5 billion, or around USD 2.2 billion. The initial death count was at 6,300. This count, however, only amounts to the casualties that were physically reported. The number of the dead, the injured, the displaced and the isolated quickly rose as weeks passed, bringing casualties to up to 10,000, and the displaced at 800,000. 8.7 million citizens were reported to be affected directly by the storm.

Typhoon Haiyan quickly became a historic example and lesson in disaster preparedness and calamity response. After the havoc, the Filipinos have undoubtedly taken measures in preparation and have been more obedient and vigilant.

Courtesy of PNA

As climate change continues to worsen in the planet, there are many typhoons still expected to hit even stronger than Haiyan. By then, we hope we have learned our lesson, and we have armed ourselves equipped and prepared. Lest we forget.



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